Your anniversary is coming up, and you’re stumped on how to celebrate. When my husband and I got married, we immediately started settling into our new life together after our honeymoon.
We also knew we wanted to pay off the rest of my husband’s credit card debt, so we hustled hard to make that happen. There wasn’t a lot of money leftover for dates, but we still made it work.
Whether you’re busy working on reaching financial goals together or a fancy anniversary trip just isn’t in your budget this time, here are 8 romantic and affordable ways to celebrate your anniversary.
1. Recreate One of Your First Dates
Maybe your first date with your spouse involved a budget-friendly activity. If it didn’t, go back to one of your other first dates that was pretty affordable.
My husband and I met up at a local restaurant on our college campus for our first date and we also enjoyed walking around campus. Sometimes he’d come over to my apartment and we’d watch a movie together.
Celebrate your anniversary by recreating one of your favorite first dates and adding a special element to it.
2. Attend a Local Comedy Show
Enjoy a good laugh? There are tons of free and cheap comedy shows that are hosted all over. A brewery in our area actually hosts a free one most Thursday nights. All we need to do is pay for drinks and an appetizer if we wish.
You can also catch deals on coupon sites to lower your ticket prices. Just make sure you don’t sit in the front row so the comedian will be less likely to use you as target practice.
3. Visit a Museum
If you and your partner enjoy learning fun facts about interesting places and topics, consider checking out a museum in the area during a free or discounted admission day.
You may even have to travel a bit to find a new museum to explore but it will be worth it. Plus, you can plan to have lunch or dinner afterward and make a day out of it.
4. Go Camping
This may not sound like a glamorous way to celebrate your anniversary, but if you are both outdoorsy people you might love it. You can even turn it into a glamping experience. Bring a camping stove so you can prepare a variety of meals, rest up and sleep in on a fluffy air mattress, and spend your time hiking, fishing, and reminiscing together.
Spending time in nature may be the perfect escape so you can really take time to bond and make memories together.
5. Spend a Romantic Night Away
My husband and I did this for our first anniversary. We planned to take a trip every other year, so that meant that in between we’d do something local and affordable.
For this particular anniversary, I ended up finding a couple’s getaway resort in the area. We used Groupon to get a discount on a one night stay which was under $100.
Getting away for the night and going to dinner was a great way to celebrate and we didn’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money.
6. Go to the Beach
If the weather permits, visit a local beach and spend a day swimming and laying out in the sun. Natural beaches are often free to visit and you can pack a lunch or bring activities to stay entertained whether it’s game or books.
7. Day Trip
Day trips don’t have to be costly. In fact, that’s the main idea. Consider going into the city or visiting a nearby state and soaking up all the attractions to celebrate your anniversary. Some cities have passes that allow you admission to check out some of their top attractions all for one low fee.
Other times, you can take advantage of all the free attractions and experiences in the area.
8. Go Out But Skip Dinner
Let’s face it, dinner can be pretty expensive. But for your anniversary, it’s may be worth the cost depending on what you value. If you’d rather go out and experience something new together, maybe you can cook dinner together at home to free up more money for your activity.
Cooking together can still be romantic, and it allows you the opportunity to try a new recipe together or recreate a favorite meal. You can even consider going out for dessert, riding bikes or checking out a show.
Make It Special
Sometimes what you do to celebrate your anniversary isn’t a major deal. If you have a budget this year, stick to it and brainstorm ideas that will meet your spending flexibility.
Also, focus on making things special and romantic in a sentimental way. Only you know certain things about your spouse and the two of you each have your own set of memories together.
Consider doing things like:
- Writing a special love letter to express your feelings
- Making a photo album book to represent the highlights of your relationship
- Creating a playlist of all your favorite love songs
- Getting their favorite item engraved
- Creating a custom photo item (like a blanket, coffee mug, etc.)
- Renewing your vows together
- Revisiting a significant place that highlights a milestone in your relationship
The sky is really the limit when it comes to determining romantic and affordable ways to celebrate your anniversary. You don’t have to just settle for the typical dinner and a movie date night.
The best part is that you don’t need a ton of money to do something special and show your spouse how much they mean to you. Build on this list and develop your own romantic anniversary celebration.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments along with whether you’ve ever used any of these ideas before.